Six distinguished members of Connecticut’s wrestling family have been selected to be enshrined in the Connecticut Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
The six — Colonel Charles Anderson, a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient who has served in the Connecticut Army National Guard for more than 30 years, and as the head wrestling coach at both Trumbull High and Norwalk High; John Bennett, a coach, official and four-time member of the U.S. Veterans World Team; Patrick Burns, former New Milford High coach, an official and CIAC wrestling committee member; Carmen DelVecchio, one of the top officials in New England and in the nation; Jason Shaughnessy, a founder and coach with the Police Athletic League youth wrestling program in Fairfield and the head coach at Fairfield High School and Fairfield Warde High School; and Dennis Siegmann, the former head coach at Bristol Central High for 22 years and an assistant coach at two junior colleges that won four national championships in six years — will be honored at a ceremony at the MGM Hotel at Foxwoods Resort and Casino on May 4. Tickets for the banquet will be made available online starting in October.
“We believe it’s as strong a class as has ever been inducted,” said Ted Oczkowski, the President of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. “We’re hoping for a fun-filled night with a packed room.”
Bennett, Burns, DelVecchio, Shaughnessy and Siegmann will all receive Lifetime Achievement awards for coaches, officials, or contributors with at least 20 years of service. Anderson is being recognized as an Outstanding American. All six men will be permanently recognized in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla.
“I guess it’s kind of surreal for me that I’m this far into my career,” said Shaughnessy, who wrestled at Springfield College. “I’m 22 years in, and it feels like yesterday that I finished up wrestling in college and moved to Fairfield to start my coaching career. I hope I have lots of years left to continue to coach. It’s a great honor, and I really appreciate being recognized by the sport I love.”